Indian Embassy marks Int’l IYOM 2023 week

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Bid to spread awareness about various benefits of millets

Ambassador lighting the traditional lamp as HE Maazen Al-Essa and Mrs Swaika look on

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 22: With the objective of spreading awareness about the ecological, nutrition and economical benefits of millets, the International Year of Millets (IYOM 2023) as was announced by the United Nations General Assembly on a proposal of Government of India, the Embassy of India, Kuwait organized the Millets Week in Kuwait (as part of International Year of Millets 2023) from Feb 15 – 21 2023. Addressing the audience on this occasion, the Ambassador-designate of India to Kuwait HE Dr. Adarsh Swaika said, millets are ancient cereal crops and small seed grasses widely used across Asia and Africa, these grains are nutritiously rich, drought tolerant and mostly grown in the arid and semi-arid regions of India; are nutritionally superior to wheat and rice as they are rich in protein, vitamins and minerals while although millets are not major food crops in the developed world, they play a vital role in the foods of peoples of many indigenous societies in Asia and Africa. Under the leadership and vision of Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, the government of India celebrated 2018 as National Year of Millets with the determination to turn adoption of millets as a peoples movement, the government of India is spearheading the celebration of IYOM 2023.

As a steering committee member of the FAO, India is leading the initiative globally. At the conclusion of the Millets Week in Kuwait, the embassy organized a Finalé event under the title “Millets for Sustainable Development” on Feb 21 2023 at the Embassy auditorium. HE Maazen Essa Al-Essa, Undersecretary of Amiri Diwan was the Chief Guest of the event which was attended by a large number of resident ambassadors, their spouses, businessmen, students and Indian community members and the media fraternity. In his address, Dr Swaika extended his warm felicitations to the people and government of State of Kuwait on the occasion of the National and Liberation Day of Kuwait. Referring to the significance of millets on achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and India’s emphasis on popularizing millets for their benefits, Dr Swaika said “Millets are good for our planet, our people and our plate.”

A Millets Exhibition, displaying the diversity of millets grown in different parts of India. The Art with Millets Exhibition included more than 70 artworks prepared by students of Indian schools on the themes of Millets for Sustainable Development, Millets for Taste and Nutrition and India- Kuwait Friendship. A live demonstration on regional diversity of Millets Cuisine by renowned Indian Chef Chhaya Thakkar was held. A display of various Millets from Indian States and their benefits, by Lulu Hypermarkets, Kuwait and Al-Hakimi Supermarket, Kuwait was also arranged during this event.

A cultural program, involving a skit on millets culture in India performed by Indian Doctors Forum (IDF) members as well as harvest dances by Indian community members and students were also part of the program. During the event, chief guest and the ambassador gave away prizes to the winners of various competitions held during the Millets Week in Kuwait. The week included several activities, such as Art With Millets poster competition, an online quiz and an awareness campaign titled “Millets in My Tiffin”, aimed at generating awareness of Indian millets and the rich diversity of millets cuisine of India as well as the nutrition and health benefits of millets. As part of the promotion of the millets campaign, First Secretary (Political & Commerce) Mrs. Smita Patil participated in the Good Morning Kuwait Live Show on KTV2 for spreading awareness about Millets in Kuwait, while Chef Chhaya Thakkar spoke about Millets cuisine during a program of Radio Kuwait International. A large number of Indian students participated in the educational drive conducted by the embassy under hashtags #MilletsWeekInKuwait and #MilletsIn- MyTiffin campaigns.

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